Yesterday I went for a Walk – WALX Coach Rob Young about new his role at WALX Dorset

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Yesterday I went for a walk. A simple sentence. That’s why I like WALX. WALX is a straightforward concept where your club, community and workout is outdoors because walking is about being outside. Walking is a practice that allows you to use your body as it was designed. I like that walking is an easy, simple, amateur, natural experience. WALX is fun and puts a smile on your face.

Children learn to walk by flirting with falling. My first walk today was to the local shops to get bread and milk for my Mother as she had fallen over (or as they say, had a fall) and broke her leg last summer. Last week I went for a much longer walk, I was on a recce for the 16 mile Challenge route for the Purbeck Walking Festival. I managed to fall over three times. It was a great learning process because one of my roles as Route Master is to risk assess all the festival WALX as well as learn all the routes and pass on the information to Walk Leaders and Instructors local and outside of Dorset so that they can safely lead the routes.

Fitness is important to me as I have always played sports from a young age and connected to friends, family and nature through physical activity; so it made sense to become first, a swim coach, tennis coach and then a personal trainer and now a WALX Coach. Recently I have watched my own mother struggle with preventable diseases and my interests have naturally developed over the years on how food, fitness, fun, community, sleep and nature have a positive effect on wellness and longevity.

Walking is powerful. Walking allows you to keep your heart rate down and if you can do that and walk further or faster and then both by definition you must get aerobically fitter and learn to fuel your exercise by fat burning. Our bodies are like rivers they need to be moving or they become stagnant. Building up your distance is a great goal to aim for and that brings me to my second role with the Purbeck Walking Festival as Dorset Distance Training Coach working alongside local Dorset instructors and nationally with the Challenge WALX training programme.

‘It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit’

Robert Louis Stevenson.

Science is starting to back up what as walkers we have always known unsurprisingly as throughout evolution we spent 99.9% of our time in nature, our physiology is adapted to it. You feel comfortable and synchronised within its environment. Many of you may have been engaging with the forest and woods for some time now, maybe decades. Since learning about the practice of Forest Bathing I am certainly grateful to have learnt a clear term to explain how I intuitively relate to the woods. When you Forest Bathe you are mindfully communicating with the forest environment to relieve stress and anxiety, elevate mood and boost your immunity whilst being at one with nature and finding inspiration in its beauty. ‘Shinrin yoku’. Forest Bathing.

So my final role within the Purbeck Walking Festival is to introduce variety with ‘walk and swim’ and looking to get local community business involved.

Walking is a state in which the mind, the body and nature are aligned. On foot everything stays connected.

Get connected with WALX.

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